Can I be reimbursed for the paid time off I used after being injured in a car accident?

Any car accident can be costly, especially if your injuries require that you take time off work to recover. Depending on your employer’s policies, you may have had to use your sick days or vacation time to protect your position while your body was still healing—effectively robbing you of a later vacation and taking away free time you worked hard to earn. 

If you were hurt in accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages, including the paid time off (PTO) you had to use during your recovery. Compensation for using PTO

Claiming PTO After an Accident

When you’re hurt in an accident by a negligent driver, you can usually file a personal injury claim to recover damages from the liable party or their insurance company. If you had to use your PTO after an accident, you may wonder if you can get back that time you were likely saving for a more pleasant occasion. 

While a Virginia car crash lawyer cannot help you get back your vacation days—only your employer has the power to restore them—we can help you get compensated for the PTO you should have been able to use for your own personal reasons.

You may be eligible for compensation for lost PTO if you used it for:

How to Document Your PTO

Your PTO has its own value, often based on how much money you earn. Usually, one day of PTO is worth as much as one day’s labor. So if you make $150 per day, then one day of PTO is worth $150.

However, PTO has additional value: it’s time that most employees spend by themselves or with their families.

Virginia’s courts recognize exhausted PTO as a form of damage and will let you file a claim for recovery—provided you have documentation of your loss.

Most of the time, your employer can help you get the documentation you need. You should ask for a form or statement which:

  • Is printed on company letterhead
  • Lists your name, title, and salary
  • Details how much time you missed or how much PTO you had to use

How an Attorney Can Help

You should never have to bear the financial burden of another person’s negligence. Not only do you deserve compensation for your missing PTO, you should also be compensated for the money you’ve already spent on hospital bills and the money you’ll need for physical rehabilitation and follow-up appointments. A Virginia car crash lawyer will help you evaluate the sum of your damages, which may include:

  • Exhausted PTO
  • Car repairs 
  • Medical bills
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Continued care
  • Crutches, wheelchair ramps, other medical accessories
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Disfigurement

Virginia, unlike other states, does not have a cap on damages in car accident cases. So, your attorney will fight to get you all the financial assistance you need. In certain cases, you may even be able to request punitive damages—a special sort of financial penalty levied on people, entities, or organizations which were exceptionally negligent in causing your accident.

Once you have decided to file a claim for damages, a lawyer will act as your advocate: collecting evidence needed to bolster your case, negotiating with the insurance company, and taking anyone who refuses to be fair to court.

Contact Us Today

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Virginia car accident, send Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi a message online today. Your initial consultation with us is free, and we handle our personal injury work on a contingency fee basis. That means, you pay no legal fees unless there is a financial recovery.


Katherine M. Fogarty
Fairfax and Northern Virginia Divorce and Family Law Attorney